Jeannie Baker

My name is Angie Beach, and my Mom has breast cancer.  Here is her story.

For all of those who know my sweet Moma, she hasn't really mastered the computer era. Now, she is very savvy with Facebook, but other sites and/or web pages, she finds difficult to navigate. So, I will help relay her story for her.

WOW! What a crazy 8 months. In June of 2015, Mom was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the Liver. She underwent a liver biopsy and several CT scans which, by the Grace of God, revealed that her Cirrhosis, for the most part, is in its early stages.  It's believed that this came from prescribed medication. She continues to have follow-up appointments with her Gastro. Doctor for the cirrhosis and her PCP Doctor closely governs her liver enemzies as well.

In late January, Mom went in for her regularly scheduled mammogram. She was supposed to have went in October but she just wasn’t able to make the time to get it done.  For some reason, she and I both must have had some apprehension about it.  I know that from the moment she went in for the test until the time that they called her back to come back in for another mammogram, she and I both had “that bad feeling” lingering in the air.

She had the choice to have a surgeon of her choosing do the biopsy or she could have it done by a Radiologist at the Imaging Center which would happen much quicker.   Previously, Mom had a breast biopsy in 2012 in the same breast which came back negative for cancer.  The newly discovered possible mass, was in the same breast but a different location. 

Since the Imaging Center could perform the biopsy much quicker, she decided to let the Radiologist perform the biopsy this time.  So, on 2/3/15 , she underwent another mammogram and a right, breast biopsy.  When they did the biopsy, they explained that they would be placing several taitaum markers in and around the possible mass or tumor site should it be determined to be cancer that this would help the surgeon in locating the mass should it be cancerous.  This took about 1 ½ hours and Mom said that it painful but it was much more thorough than the breast biopsy she had back in 2012.  They advised her that they would call her back once they received the results in a couple of days.

Both, Mom and I, still had this uneasy feeling and were very anxious to get the results.  The Radiologists told her that they would call her within the next day or two about the results.  Day one and two went by.  Day 3 came and went and then the weekend.  Although we tried not to talk about it, I think we both knew that something was up but hoped that maybe they were just be very thorough.  Monday, we heard nothing.  Tuesday came and we received a call that it would be a couple of more days before we hear and as soon as they received the report, then they will call her back.  Wednesday, Mom gets the call to come into the office.  When she called me, I think we both knew the news would not be good.  On Thursday, February 11, 2016, Mom and I go into the office at Catawba Imaging.  We were taken back into an office where Dr. Baker, the radiologist came in and told us that the pathology was a little tricky than most which is why it took them a little longer to get back with her.  That additional tests were had to be preformed on the tissue sample to confirm the diagnosis. 

I was by her side, when they gave her the news about this horrible disease.   In fact, it was the most horrible day of my life, as Dr. Chandra Baker told Momma the results came back positive for cancer.  I believe the words were “this is a very rare cancer which is why it took longer from the report to come back”.  The cancer is what is called metaplastic carcinoma of infarcted papilloma in her right breast at the 2:00 position.  Mom and I had prepared for the bad news beforehand so the next questions were what can we do and what were the next steps.  She absolutely amazed me with the strength she had as she didn’t cry a tear.  I was falling apart on the inside and felt sick and nauseous but knew I had to remain calm and supportive for her.  We were given options and instructions to get in with a surgeon and one was recommended.  Mom immediately knew that she wanted to go with a mastectomy, if given the option.  This was the same breast that the biopsy had been done in 2012 but at a different location within that breast. 

The next few days were a blur.  I did leave with copies of the pathology and additional information regarding breast cancer.  I knew that I was going to do the research on this diagnosis and find out all the information I could about it.  My research turned up that the type of cancer Momma has is referred to as Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Depending on the stage of its diagnosis, triple negative breast cancer can be particularly aggressive, and more likely to recur than other subtypes of breast cancer.  I was able to obtain more information from the TNBC Foundation. 

(to be continued)......

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